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MSc Financial Engineering and Risk Management

Why we're great

  • Our work is often cited in the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve
  • We are one of the largest finance groups in the UK
  • We are in the UK’s top 25 for research excellence (REF 2014)

Course options2017-18

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £10,200
Fee (International): £15,950
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Duration: 2 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £5,100
Fee (International): £7,975
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719
Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk
Live chat

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About the course

How can we prevent another financial crisis? Is it by better understanding risk in financial securities? Can improving the way we measure and manage risk create stability in the financial world?

The after effects of the 2008 financial meltdown are still being felt across the globe. We need knowledgeable financial professionals who can evaluate risk, act rationally and understand the economic impact of their actions in order to find solutions. If you can rise to the challenge of making ethical, sound financial decisions in pressurised environments, MSc Financial Engineering and Risk Management is for you.

You follow advanced, contemporary study in financial engineering and risk management and develop a deeper understanding of the risks within modern financial securities. You also become skilled in the design of robust management systems to measure risk. Upon graduation, you should possess the skills and knowledge for a successful career in commercial, investment and central banks, hedge funds, regulatory authorities and rating agencies.

You master areas including:

  • asset pricing
  • derivative securities
  • financial modelling
  • mathematical research techniques using Matlab

MSc Financial Engineering and Risk Management is taught at Essex Business School, home to one of the largest, and most respected, finance groups in the UK. Our teaching is grounded in contemporary issues and professional practice, supported by industry-standard facilities, such as our Bloomberg virtual trading floor.

We’re ranked in the top 25 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014) and are home to an international community of scholars, practitioners and academics; our current Masters students join us from more than 40 countries.

This course is also available to study part-time and you may be able to apply for scholarships and discounts offered by the University of Essex. Essex Business School also offers a limited number of scholarships for the CFA level one exam to exceptional Masters students. Essex Business School is a Recognised Partner of the CFA.

Postgraduate loans for Masters courses are now available from the Student Loans Company, worth up to £10,000, for students from the UK and EU.

“The professors have strong research backgrounds, but they are also great at teaching. My lecturers were always willing to answer any questions about my course, assignments or career advice. I now work at the Inter-American Development Bank, introducing Green Bonds to the Mexican market. My Masters equipped me with the skills I use in my current role, such as financial analysis, credit risk analysis, programming skills and statistical tools for cash flow and forecast models.”

Daniel Castineyra, MSc Financial Engineering and Risk Management (2014)

Our expert staff

We’re home to Essex Finance Centre, which produces research at the cutting-edge of financial debate.

Work by our expert staff has been discussed in the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve, so you join a business school that seeks to make a real difference to solving financial challenges around the world.

We combine academic experience with industry expertise and are renowned for research into:

  • business ethics and corporate social responsibility
  • organisation studies
  • leadership and strategy
  • finance and banking
  • risk management
  • international management

Specialist facilities

You’re based at our Colchester Campus, in our landmark zero carbon building.

Our Colchester home is an example of our dedication to sustainable and ethical business practices. Its design is both environmentally friendly and architecturally stunning, with a winter garden and sun terrace contributing to the building’s own micro-climate and providing a tranquil environment for group working and socialising. Our Bonds café is located on site, making a great space for reviewing course notes before lectures.

Our virtual trading floor, complete with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs, enables you to practice dealing stocks and securities using industry-standard equipment. You can also benefit from our study skills workshops, designed to help you excel in your academic work.

Our building is also located on the University’s Knowledge Gateway, providing potential opportunities to network with inspiring SMEs who locate their businesses on our Colchester Campus.

Your future

An Essex Business School education is founded on creativity, innovation and ethical awareness to prepare you for the challenges of the global marketplace. In 2015, 78% of our postgraduate taught students were in work or further study (DLHE).

Our course provides you with the opportunity to develop a career in financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy, as well as fostering your entrepreneurial spirit.

Many of our graduates work for high-profile organisations and innovative SMEs such as:

  • KPMG
  • Grant Thornton LLP
  • National Bank of Kazakhstan
  • European Central Bank
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Capital Markets Intelligence, a financial publisher
  • Credit Data Research, a business funder

We’re also proud of our student entrepreneurs, including international business incubator 0100Ventures and entrepreneurship website SlovakSTARTUP.

We provide plenty of support along the way to help you secure your dream job. Our dedicated employability team work closely with the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities. There is also access to employer talks on campus.

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Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

Year 1

Your dissertation is the culmination of your Masters programme, where you apply the knowledge gained on your course to produce a 10,000 word independent piece of work. You generate an original idea, analyse literature and current knowledge and produce a coherent argument that shows your ability to relate theory to practice. Your dissertation will help you develop vital skills for the workplace, as well as the ability to analyse real problems through an academic lens. You're assigned a supervisor for the duration of your project.

This module introduces Matlab, software commonly used in financial organisations and academia to model portfolio construction and solve banking and finance challenges. You learn how to use Matlab programming language to solve financial problems. These may include finding optimal portfolio weights, calculating and simulating derivative prices and implied volatilities, and estimating and simulating GARCH models, amongst others.

This module equips you with the econometric tools and necessary experience to conduct empirical research in finance. You review statistical and basic econometric models and learn to apply econometric techniques in finance by considering topics such as (G)ARCH models, unit roots and cointegration.

This module covers topics in mathematics that are required in Masters-level finance courses at the University of Essex. You focus on the basics of linear algebra, differential calculus including optimisation and dynamics.

The recent financial crisis and credit crunch have demonstrated that risk management was too narrowly defined. In this course you examine the Value at Risk (VAR) measure of financial risk developed in the 1990s, before discussing the new post-crisis Regulatory environment.

Consider the use of modern econometric techniques in the analysis of financial time series. You cover multivariate models for stationary and non-stationary processes, such as Vector Autoregressive models, consider appropriate models for volatility, and study Markov processes and simulation methods used for financial modelling.

Gain a formal introduction to asset pricing theories and empirical findings. You review the fundamental theories of the expected utility, asset pricing kernels, and risk-neutral valuation, covering the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), and linear factor models arising from the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT). You also discuss empirical asset pricing studies.

Master the pricing of financial derivatives and their use for hedging financial risks. You study the basics of futures and options, analyse the Black-Scholes and binomial option pricing models, and consider various numerical techniques for pricing financial derivatives. Futures and options are then utilised in the context of hedging financial risks, and you are introduced to the concept of volatility trading and the treatment of volatility as an asset class.

Gain theoretical knowledge and a practical understanding of financial markets, trading strategies, risk and money management and trader analytics at the highest level. You study a mix of classroom-based instruction, case studies and practical trading exercises where you trade on real-time simulated global markets through the use of industry-strength proprietary trading software in the trading lab.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of major current issues in financial accounting and reporting. You develop an awareness of financial reporting theory, the problematic nature of accounting measurements and disclosures, corporate disclosure regulation, the implications of market efficiency for financial reporting, and the potential role of accounting information in social reporting and collective bargaining.

Management accounting provides information required for decision-making, planning and control and cost management. You examine a range of contemporary issues in management accounting such as activity-based costing, strategic management accounting and other management accounting issues. You also evaluate contemporary approaches of management control theories to understand the current practices of management accounting locally and globally.

Explore key issues in contemporary auditing through evaluation of recent published research in the principal auditing and accounting journals. You also consider the major policy issues facing the auditing profession, and suggest changes and reforms that might be beneficial both to the profession and to those affected by the activities of auditors.

Analyse the changing practices and theorization of management accounting and control in emerging and less-developed countries in the context of environmental change, institutional and socio-economic factors. You examine traditional management control systems in the context of different cultural, political, and socio-economic contexts.

Develop a critical understanding of current issues in international financial reporting. You analyse the development of national accounting systems, the role of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and its impact on financial reporting internationally, and the particular financial reporting needs of developing countries.

This module gives you a critical understanding of current issues in corporate governance theory, regulation and practice at both national and international levels. You undertake a critical review of agency, stakeholder and other corporate governance related theories and explore the codes and regulations governing corporate and board behaviour. Examples include the UK’s Combined Code, Operating and Financial Review and the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act. You examine real-world case studies and develop a deeper understanding of the meaning of ‘good’ governance.

This module introduces you to financial reporting, governance, regulation, and analysis of financial statements. You also gain an understanding of the role of published financial statements in aiding users in their decision-making.

This module introduces you to some of the main topics and issues in electronic commerce and electronic business, illustrating both traditional and critical approaches to understanding them, and offering alternative perspectives on various dynamics of this technology.

This module offers you a standard introduction of the field of corporate finance at postgraduate level. You consider the classical areas of Modigliani-Miller irrelevance, Taxes and capital structure, Trade-off theory and Pecking order theory of capital structure, before exploring the more modern areas, which are essentially based on contract theory.

Understand the process of portfolio management. You cover the main concepts such as efficient diversification, managing risk exposures, and the valuation of financial assets that are at the core of managing investment portfolios, and pay special attention to the practicalities of the implementation of these concepts.

Gain an understanding of international arbitrage relationships, models of exchange rate determination, and recent issues and debates in the international finance literature. Learn to describe the basic international parity relationships, to outline some of the basic models of exchange rate determination, and have a good grasp of issues such as the international debt crisis, capital mobility, and the advent of the European single currency.

Behavioural finance rejects crucial tenets of mainstream finance such as the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) on the basis that agents are less than fully rational, and that arbitrage fails to eliminate mispricing. Instead it identifies market anomalies or regularities such as holiday effects that are at odds with the EMH. You learn to use ideas from cognitive psychology, such as overconfidence, and aspects of imperfect arbitrage to explain these.

Discover the concepts and tools that are useful to asset managers who want to use fixed income securities for investing, market-making or speculating. You first study fixed income markets and instruments, before going on to explore basic concepts of bond portfolio management and investigating the quantitative tools used to value bonds and manage bonds' portfolios.

Big data - where datasets are so large they cannot be processed using traditional techniques – is useful to financial organisations. This module explores how to analyse big data and covers areas such as predictive analytics, risk modelling and corporate finance. You also learn about the application of data analytics in high frequency finance, fraud and personal finance.

Discover how people construct and account for themselves in relation to organisations. You explore the implications of technology and bureaucracy in the formation of consciousness, challenging taken-for-granted assumptions about organisations and offers insights into the meaning of work. The course uses a variety of media including film and video and the use of novels, art and theatre in order to illustrate the various concepts used.

This module introduces key principles and practices in contemporary management and organisational behaviour. You learn through a combination of lectures, group work and individual study and use business case studies to apply theory to real-life situations. You examine some of the most important challenges facing management today and see how these are located in the wider political, social and economic context.

This module is designed to equip you with the knowledge and practical transferable skills needed to work effectively in creative problem solving teams. You explore creativity as both an academic discipline and practice in organisations and gain a critical understanding of historical developments and trends in the field of creativity management. You examine theoretical concepts and perspectives and practical techniques, such brainstorming and lateral thinking.

Explore issues ranging from environmental disasters to corporate greed and from executive pay to ethical bottled water. You discover the relationship between management and corporations on the one hand, and society and nature on the other, engaging in debates around ecological sustainability, governance and corporate ethics and responsibility.

Investigate some of the main topics and issues in international business and global political economy, applying both mainstream and more critical approaches to understanding them. You explore a range of different literatures addressing the business environment in the international context, discovering the historical, economic, cultural and political forces that shape contemporary global capitalism.

Managers increasingly find themselves working across borders calling for a thorough understanding of issues that relate to cross cultural management. In this course you enhance your understanding of the way in which globalisation and international business activities affect management and management practices across cultures.

Develop a critical understanding of the theory and practice of Human Resource Management in domestic and international contexts, as well as an awareness of how Human Resource practices impact both on the individual and wider social structures.

Investigate the foundations of Management and Marketing through an induction to Essex Business School, with structured introductions to the library resources in the University and the range of learning methods used at post-graduate level, including lectures, classes, independent reading, group research projects, presentations and written assignments.

In the current brand-dominated and rapidly globalising world of business and management, saturated by advertisements, critical understanding of marketing activities and how they affect businesses and individuals is a requirement for a general management and marketing career. In this module you investigate the role of marketing within organisations, and the linkage between marketing and general management.

Strategic brand communication considers all the means by which brand meaning is created and circulated - not only through channels such as promotion and distribution, but also how for example employees are utilised for the purpose of communicating a consistent brand message. You analyse the underlying ideas that inform how brand messages are constructed, and how for example stereotypes or normative ideas of gender are reproduced in those messages.

This module introduces you to the theory and practice of marketing. You cover topics such as consumer behaviour, relationship marketing, digital marketing and cause-related marketing. We examine the discipline as both an organisational function and a crucial field of social interaction in a global context.

Explore the foundational principles of marketing as an academic subject and practice, by considering marketing from different perspectives including consumer behaviour, the marketing mix perspective, services marketing, retail and place marketing, marketing communications, ethical marketing, and global marketing.

Explore the basics of the structure and environment of banking, and selected aspects of the applied economics of the modern banking firm. You study structure-conduct-performance, competition, bank efficiency, regulation, international banking and bank failures and crises.

Analyse the key strategic developments in banking and the main aspects of risk management in modern banks. You are introduced to the concept of shareholder value in banking, the main banking strategies to create shareholder value, the key risks in banking, and the most important tools required to manage bank risks.

Taught exclusively by leading industry experts, this module offers you a unique opportunity to appreciate the latest developments and issues faced by leading practitioners in the areas of quantitative finance and risk management.

This module covers many of the key human aspects of management that are, so often, taken for granted. It provides you with an understanding of core issues that shape the management of organisational performance. We invite you to analyse workforce issues that will shape your own management practice.

Explore a range of theoretical, philosophical and methodological approaches to the conduct of doctoral research with a focus on the literature phase of a research project. You scrutinise the process of writing an academic literature review, develop a literature-based research plan for your dissertation, integrating subject-specific learning with insights on research methodology and epistemology.

This module equips you with a critical understanding of research methods and methodologies in the field of accounting. You develop the skills needed to explore issues in accounting and identify, choose and implement research designs and strategies.

This module examines how social scientific knowledge is created and how our understanding of business and cultural phenomena can be shaped by differences in perspective and interpretation. We explore how knowledge is acquired and evaluated and address topics you will encounter as part of your academic research.

This module develops your skills in undertaking organisational research. Through a series of workshops, you learn about, and practice using, different methods of data collection and analysis.

Teaching

  • Tailor the content of your course to more closely fit your interests and aspirations
  • Courses focus on practical applications and links with industry
  • We run an open seminar series

Assessment

  • Regular assessment is by coursework, presentations, case studies, group work, tests and examinations

Dissertation

  • You submit a 10,000 word dissertation

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Qualifications

UK entry requirements

A 1st, 2:1 or good 2:2 degree, or equivalent, in finance, economics or business. We also welcome applications from candidates with any science or engineering degree.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

English language requirements

If English isn’t your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

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Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

Visit us

Open days

We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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